General Information for Patients

Making and Changing Appointments

For all Appointments phone 9466 8822, 8:30am-5pm, Mon-Fri

Appointments are available between 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday.

Not all doctors are available at all times, our staff will assist in finding a suitable appointment.

SMS Reminders are avaible if you provide an appropriate contact number.

Changing and Cancelling Appointments

Please let the office know if you are unable to attend an appointment.

If you are unable to attend at an appointment please contact the office so that a suitable new appointment can be offered.

We recommend that you maintain scheduled reviews by changing appointments if required. Please do not neglect your ongoing eye care.


A Referral Letter is required if you wish to be able to claim Medicare Benefits after your visit.

Referrals may be written by GPs, specialists or optometrists and are valid for the period that the referrer specifies. Note that referrals from medical specialists are valid for a maximim of three months.

If you have no referral or if your previous referral has expired then Medicare will reject your claim for benefits. Our staff will do their best to check and advise you if you do not have a valid referral but note that it is your responsibility to maintain your referral.

Please note that Medicare rules require that your referral is present and valid at the time of your visit. Medicare rules prohibit backdating of referrals and you should not ask for or expect that your GP, specialist or optometrist will provide a backdated document.

Accounts and Payment

Northern Eye Consultants is not a Bulk Billing Clinic.

You will receive an account after your consultation and this is payable immediately. A discount is available when full payment is made on the day of the consultation. Credit and Debit card facilities are available, please note that Amex and Diners Club are not accepted.

Once your account is paid, Medicare and Private Health benefits may be claimed, see details below.

Why are there Gaps and Out of Pocket Expenses?

Patients encounter Gaps and Out of Pocket expenses for several reasons

  • Rebates from Medicare and Health Funds have never kept pace with wages and other practice costs. In some cases the rebates have actually decreased from year to year, while practice costs only ever increase. Over many years the Medicare and Health Fund rebates have fallen far behind actual practice costs and patient out of pocket costs have become necessary to meet the gap.
  • New Technology has often not been recognised in a timely fashion by Medicare and Health Funds. The OCT retinal scanner is a good example, this instrument provides retinal scans that are essential for the management of many conditions. The scanner in our office cost well over $200,000 but no Medicare rebate is available and a per-scan cost must therefore be passed on to the patient.

Northern Eye Consultants endeavours to keep out of pocket costs as low as possible. Please ask any members of staff for information if you have any concerns about costs. Quotes for likely costs are always available on request and you can also ask your doctor about likely costs if you have any concerns.

Costs for Surgery

Costs for Surgery are made up of

Medical Costs - Surgeon and Anaesthetist
These are the fees for surgeon and anaesthetist. You will receive a written quote for surgical fees at the time that surgery is booked. This quote is based on the procedure that is planned but note that in some cases the surgical plan may have to be modified according to the actual surgical findings. The anaesthetic quote is provided on behalf of the anaesthetist and you may wish to verify this directly with their office. Our staff will provide the anaesthetist's necessary contact details on request
Facility Fees - Hospital or Day Surgery Centre
Facility Fees are payable to the hospital or day surgery and are for the operating theatre, implants drugs and other materials needed for the procedure. Most patients with private health insurance will find that these costs are fully covered by their insurance but some policies have exclusions. It is the patients's responsibility to verify their insurance cover - see Private Insurance Rebates below for more information.

Medicare Rebates

Medicare rebates are available for most outpatient and surgical services. After your account is paid and payment has cleared you will be given a receipt that may be used to claim Medicare benefits. Your claim can also be transmitted directly from our office and if you register your bank account details with Medicare then the rebates will be deposited directly.

Some services are not eligible for Medicare rebates, examples are occupational health screening, aviation and driving visual examinations. Some new technologies do not yet have Medicare benefits, such as the OCT retinal scanner. In these cases the patient must meet the full amount of the account for those services

Private Health Fund Rebates

Private Health Fund rebates are only available for surgery and other services received while admitted to a hospital or day surgery. Private Helath Fund rebates are not available for outpatient consultations or services.

Private Health Fund rebates vary according to the fund and the specific procedure. Some funds or policies may exclude certain items. The surgical quote that is given when any procedure is booked will list the item numbers that are planned and will estimate the Medicare and Health Fund Rebates expected, with any balance to be paid by the patient.

It is the patient's responsibility to verify their fund's coverage for the items that are planned. Our staff endeavour to be accurate but funds may change their rules at any time. If an item is not fully covered or if the fund rejects the claim then the patient will be fully liable for that cost.

Privacy and Data Protection

Your doctor and the clinic will collect information from you in order to provide you with health care. This information will be collected, handled and stored in accordance with State and National Privacy Laws and Principles.

You may view and correct your information in accordance with the procedures contained in the relevant State and National Laws and Principles.

All enquiries in relation to Privacy, Data Protection and Data Access should be directed to the Practice Manager.